Tuesday, September 14, 2010


1. Reclined at table: They were dining in the Hellenistic manner which was to lounge on one’s side with the feet pointing away from the table. Thus the woman can stand ‘behind him at his feet’. The dinner should have been a festive banquet since reclining was practiced only on such occasions.

2. A certain woman: As in the case of the Pharisee, she too is unnamed. In the Western Church traditions, at least since the time of Gregory the Great, Mary of Bethany has been conflated with sinner of Galilee and even with Mary Magdalene. The Greek Church tradition by and large kept these Marys distinct.

3. Known to be a sinner: She is depicted as sinner by the Pharisees and Jesus acknowledges it. No hint is given of the kind of sins that she has committed. Many commentators identify her as the town harlot, guilty of habitual unchastity; but it is at most implied, not being said openly in the text.

4. Love is the proof of pardon: We are not pardoned because we love our Saviour; but we love Him because He has pardoned us. Here the stronger the love, the stronger must be our sense of the amount of sin we have been forgiven. Our love will grow just in proposition to our appreciation of our pardon.

5. Jesus was the One who had the power to forgive sins.
· The woman’s sins were many. Jesus did not overlook her sins, nor the seriousness of them. After all it was her sins and the sins of others that brought about His humiliation, His having to come to this sinful world and to die for the sins of people.
· Self-righteousness sensed the need for little forgiveness; therefore, the self-righteous loved little. They had only a formal, distant relationship with God. The Pharisee’s relationship was cold, having only a small sense of sin and sensing only a little need for forgiveness.

The sinful woman gathers all her courage and enters into the Pharisee’s house to meet our Lord Jesus Christ. Her sins and the shades of guilt was so much that she did not even mind public scorning, but comes to seek the forgiveness of the Lord. When we go to a new place with the address in our hands, we look for that particular street or that particular apartment, ignoring all the others spots and we get a big relief the moment we locate our destination. The same thing happens for this woman whose sole destination was Jesus Christ and therefore the words of the Pharisees and others do not mean much to her. Jesus, who has come to this world searching sinners, presents Himself totally to the needy and shows preference to her than those who do not feel the need of Him

The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible
The Pulpit Commentary
The Anchor Bible Commentary
Sacra Pagina Series

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